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The Newcastle Knights NSW Cup side has lost their past four matches but coach Rick Stone believes Sunday's road trip to New Zealand to take on the Warriors is the perfect opportunity to turnaround their season. 

In the aftermath of last Saturday's 26-22 defeat at the hands of the Wests Tigers, Stone says it's important his side builds bonds in Auckland this weekend after a disappointing month of football.  

"You don’t travel a lot in the NSW Cup, so it is a chance to get together as a team," Stone says.

"We can get over there the night before and get ourselves ready for a strong performance.

"The Warriors are a really dangerous team, with a lot of strike, but they can have their off days as well.

"So we’ve got to be a bit better in a few areas, especially the offload department because the Warriors are pretty good there.  

"Our effort, game plan and execution is pretty good, but we’ve got to learn because we are making the same dump mistakes every week and it’s costing us wins.

"If you are going to be a potential first grader, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes and move forward."

Newcastle had plenty of chances to bury the Tigers last Saturday but Stone concedes they paid the ultimate price for a number of basic errors. 

This was especially the case in defence, where his side failed to contain flying Fijian Marika Koroibete in open space.   

"It was close down to the death," he says.

"We had a chance to score with three minutes to go to win the game, but our game management probably wasn’t ideal and some of the decisions our halves made didn’t help us.

"They (the Tigers) also scored a couple of long-range tries, which really hurt us in the context of the game.

"We had to work hard for our tries and we defended really well at the start of the game, but  some concentration lapses and poor transition from attack to defence didn’t help our cause.

"It was a game that we definitely should have won and one that got away, but hopefully the guys can respond on the weekend with a strong performance."

The Knights take on the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium from 11.40am (NZT) on Sunday.


Knights 22 (T: Ikinofo 2, Elias, Horwood, G: Mantellato 3/4)

Wests Tigers 26

Meanwhile, SG Ball players Brock Lamb, Jack Cogger and Callan Edwards were selected in NSWCCC Under 18s to Contest Australian Championships in Darwin.

Jesse Cronin from the Under 15s Chargers was also selected in the NSWCCC 15s to contest Australian Under 15s Championships in Tamworth.